Protein Cinnamon Rolls

by Lauren

GINORMOUS cinnamon rolls for only 190 calories, 17g protein and 2g fat!? Yes, you read that correctly.

There’s no denying the melt-in-your mouth amazingness of the cinnamon roll! For most people trying to eat healthy, cinnamon rolls are typically put in the “I shouldn’t” category, but they don’t have to be! Especially with rolls that are this macro friendly, it is EASY to fit one (or even 2, 3..) into your day.

Just look at the comparison between your classic Cinnabon roll and these protein cinnamon rolls! 36g of fat and 127g per roll?? 880 calories?? Is no wonder cinnamon rolls get a bad rep.

I just want to note that, yes, you can eat Cinnamon and still live balanced plus hit your macro targets. But to be honest, with macros like that, it isn’t easy to.

Also, just because these are made with butter and real sugar doesn’t mean they aren’t “healthy.” Everything is fine in moderation and unlike Cinnabon, these are pretty EASY to fit into your day. Heck I’m currently on a diet and i’ve had one each day for breakfast or dessert! (okay yes, sometimes even two 😆 )

These took a a little bit more time (and effort) than most of my recipes, but still easy to follow, even for the amateur baker.

The key is making sure the water is the right temperature to optimally allow the yeast to let dough rise. The goal is 100 to 100F, but if you don’t have a thermometer, just aim for warm water (not scalding) that feels like bath water temperature. For the protein powder, I used my tried and true: PEScience Gourmet Vanilla which blends perfectly and never fails to make baked goods turn out amazing!

For all PEScience products, you can use code “LaurenFitFoodie” to save 15%.

In love with how these turned out!! Now it’s going to be hard to work on a new recipe with these soft and chewy rolls of perfection occupying my mind. Ha!

Tracking tips: If you want to be the most accurate, weigh dough after it has initially been rolled (step 3) and then weigh dough again after kneading (step 4). Repeat after dough has risen and using a floured surface to make dough into rectangle.

As always, tag me (@laurenfitfoodie) and let me know if you tried! I Love seeing your creations!

Until next time,

<3 Lauren

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 cinnamon roll

Servings 8


Amount Per Serving
Calories 190
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g4%
Total Carbohydrate 27g9%
Protein 17g34%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Yields8 Servings

Cinnamon Rolls
  cup (150 mL) warm water (100 to 110 degrees F)
 1 tbsp sugar or sweetener of choice
 1 packet (10g) active fast-rise yeast
 200 g all purpose flour (plus more for rolling - this will vary depending on yeast. I ended up using an extra 25g)*this is factored into nutritional data
 3 scoops (100g) protein powder (I used Cake Pop)
 2 tbsp (30 mL) I Can't Believe it's Not Butter light butter
 1 tbsp cinnamon
 2 tbsp sweetener of choice
Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing
 6 oz (170g) fat free cream cheese
 8 g (1/4 scoop) vanilla protein powder
 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
 2 tbsp (30 to 45 mL) almond or cashew milk (optional for less thick icing)
 2 tsp sweetener of choice

1

In a large mixing bowl, add warm water. You are going for a bath water temperature – around 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit. Getting the right temperature is important because it will effect the rising capability of the yeast.

2

Stir in 1 tbsp sugar and the fast rise yeast packet until dissolved. Let sit for 10 minutes.

3

Slowly pour in 200g all-purpose flour and stir as you go. Repeat with the protein powder after the flour is added. Now is where you need to keep track of how much flour you are adding until you get the dough in its final form. Continue to slowly add in flour until dough is completely formed. You’ll want it just slightly sticky.

4

Sprinkle extra flour on a surface and knead the dough for 5 minutes.

5

Place ball into separate greased bowl and cover with towel. Let sit in a warm place for up to an hour. During the time, the dough should rise and double in size. (TIP: you can always microwave a bowl of water until boiling and leave in microwave with bowl of dough to create an enclosed space for the dough to rise.)

6

After dough has risen, roll out again on a floured surface. Flatten into a rectangular shape.

7

Melt the butter and spread on top of the dough. Add the cinnamon and sweetener. You will want to add more than you think is necessary and a lot of it will absorb in the dough.

8

Starting at one end, roll up the dough. Using a serrated knife, cut dough every 1.5 inches or so. Place in a sprayed round or square pan.

9

Preheat oven to 350 F. Let dough rise some more in pan while oven gets warm.

10

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Check frequently towards the end. You will want the dough to be soft, but still cooked throughout.

11

While rolls are baking, cream the cream cheese using a hand mixer. Add in the vanilla, sweetener, protein powder, and milk, and mix until combined.

12

When rolls are done, apply icing and enjoy!

*Keep cinnamon rolls stored in the fridge covered in saran wrap* 

Ingredients

Cinnamon Rolls
  cup (150 mL) warm water (100 to 110 degrees F)
 1 tbsp sugar or sweetener of choice
 1 packet (10g) active fast-rise yeast
 200 g all purpose flour (plus more for rolling - this will vary depending on yeast. I ended up using an extra 25g)*this is factored into nutritional data
 3 scoops (100g) protein powder (I used Cake Pop)
 2 tbsp (30 mL) I Can't Believe it's Not Butter light butter
 1 tbsp cinnamon
 2 tbsp sweetener of choice
Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing
 6 oz (170g) fat free cream cheese
 8 g (1/4 scoop) vanilla protein powder
 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
 2 tbsp (30 to 45 mL) almond or cashew milk (optional for less thick icing)
 2 tsp sweetener of choice

Directions

1

In a large mixing bowl, add warm water. You are going for a bath water temperature – around 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit. Getting the right temperature is important because it will effect the rising capability of the yeast.

2

Stir in 1 tbsp sugar and the fast rise yeast packet until dissolved. Let sit for 10 minutes.

3

Slowly pour in 200g all-purpose flour and stir as you go. Repeat with the protein powder after the flour is added. Now is where you need to keep track of how much flour you are adding until you get the dough in its final form. Continue to slowly add in flour until dough is completely formed. You’ll want it just slightly sticky.

4

Sprinkle extra flour on a surface and knead the dough for 5 minutes.

5

Place ball into separate greased bowl and cover with towel. Let sit in a warm place for up to an hour. During the time, the dough should rise and double in size. (TIP: you can always microwave a bowl of water until boiling and leave in microwave with bowl of dough to create an enclosed space for the dough to rise.)

6

After dough has risen, roll out again on a floured surface. Flatten into a rectangular shape.

7

Melt the butter and spread on top of the dough. Add the cinnamon and sweetener. You will want to add more than you think is necessary and a lot of it will absorb in the dough.

8

Starting at one end, roll up the dough. Using a serrated knife, cut dough every 1.5 inches or so. Place in a sprayed round or square pan.

9

Preheat oven to 350 F. Let dough rise some more in pan while oven gets warm.

10

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Check frequently towards the end. You will want the dough to be soft, but still cooked throughout.

11

While rolls are baking, cream the cream cheese using a hand mixer. Add in the vanilla, sweetener, protein powder, and milk, and mix until combined.

12

When rolls are done, apply icing and enjoy!

Protein Cinnamon Rolls
23 comments
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23 comments

Robin December 13, 2019 - 5:25 pm

I was intimated by this recipe at first! HOLY COW it was worth it! These cinnamon rolls are huge and feel so indulgent!

Reply
Amy December 13, 2019 - 5:39 pm

These have been on my list forever to try but I’m finally going to make these next week for Christmas! I’m going to use my gluten free all purpose flour to make a GF version. They look so decadent and fancy 🙂

Reply
Shira Rosenthal November 25, 2020 - 2:48 pm

Did it work with GF flour? Did you still use the yeast?

Reply
Michaela December 14, 2019 - 1:32 pm

These are absolutely amazing! I remember always having cinnamon rolls on weekend mornings as a kid and these are just as good! Thank you for all your amazing recipes!!

Reply
Mayra December 14, 2019 - 3:13 pm

These are amazing, I personally really enjoyed them cold. They are a must try

Reply
Christina Foster December 16, 2019 - 3:28 am

These are so easy to make and so good!! If you have been craving cinnamon rolls you have not make these!

Reply
Lauren December 16, 2019 - 9:19 am

So glad you love them! You really can’t go wrong with cinnamon rolls!

Reply
Alex Wittner December 17, 2019 - 12:30 am

Cinnabons are my weakness, but I hate wasting the calories on them. Then Lauren comes in and makes a KILLER recipe that is not only macro friendly but legit tastes like a cinnamon roll. I’m VERY happy with how these turned out!

Reply
Justin Kim December 26, 2019 - 12:54 am

Can you use whey isolate?

Reply
Hannah December 26, 2019 - 6:48 pm

I’ve been dying to try these too! It reminds me of Christmas morning 🙂

Reply
sierra caporale December 26, 2019 - 7:41 pm

These are so good, if you love sweets for breakfast or post workout then these are for you!!! delicious and packed with protein

Reply
Lexi December 26, 2019 - 9:07 pm

These are one of my favorite recipes by Lauren. They don’t leave a whey protein after taste and taste so so so similar to Cinnabon. Make them once a week and have them every morning

Reply
Megan Lawrence December 26, 2019 - 9:40 pm

I used to love eating Cinnabon but hated the way they made me feel from all the added sugars. These protein cinnamon rolls are the perfect alternative!

Reply
Protein King Cake – Emyogifit March 10, 2020 - 3:16 pm

[…] Lauren Fit Foodie’s recipe for protein cinnamon rolls can be found here. […]

Reply
Natalie May 6, 2020 - 12:02 pm

I can’t wait to try these!! They look amazing. I was wondering, can you freeze the rolls before adding the cream cheese? And how long will they keep in the fridge for?
Thanks!

Reply
Nicole nordenstrom June 21, 2020 - 2:16 pm

Can you sub out all purpose flour for coconut or almond flour?

Reply
Lauren July 6, 2020 - 5:21 pm

Coconut has different absorbent properties and can’t be subbed, but you can definitely sub with almond flour!

Reply
Lucky July 4, 2020 - 6:49 am

Loved this recipe. It was my first ever attempt at making cinnamon rolls. I had to use a different brand of protein as your isn’t available here in Bangkok. They turned out dry, although tasted yummy. Do you know what could have been the reason? Tad bit of a newbie at baking. 🙂

Thank you very much for such a lovely recipe.

Reply
Lauren July 6, 2020 - 5:25 pm

I am so glad you loved it! To be honest, I feel like it likely has a lot to do with the protein powder. Some just do not compare when used in baked goods. Is there a way you can look up best protein powders in your area? I would recommend a whey + casein blend like this one. Besides that, you can try baking for less time 🙂

Reply
sharon neidhardtb July 7, 2020 - 1:58 pm

..how much flour used in this recipe when using cups???

Reply
Anna-Margret September 8, 2020 - 6:05 pm

BETTER THAN THE REAL THING! I make these cinnamon rolls often and they are honestly better than any other homemade cinnamon rolls (not even considering the amazing macros!!). The first time I made these and shared them with my family, while usually they aren’t big on things with protein powder (I feel like in their minds, they just hold a grudge against protein desserts, stereotyping them to be the less flavorful, ”not-really-like-the-real-thing, ” creations (TOTALLY untrue) ); however, after serving them for the first time, we ALL couldn’t get enough and had them for dessert each night until they were gone (NOTE: this only took a few days LOL). Since then, these have become a staple recipe and I look forward to eating them fresh and warm, but equally reheated in the microwave, and topped with the warm drizzle of cream cheese icing on top! Thank you SO MUCH LAUREN FOR THIS CREATION/masterpiece, and for sharing it with the rest of the world!

Reply
Valerie September 27, 2020 - 6:51 pm

I made these today and I can’t believe how great they turned out! My husband, who usually scoffs at my “healthy” dessert attempts ate 3 of them! I used a different brand of protein powder, but I wanted to try the PEScience one to make them again. Do you think the Snickerdoodle flavor Instead of Cake Pop would work well? I wanted to try some of your other recipes that use Snickerdoodle. Thanks!

Reply
Lauren September 30, 2020 - 2:18 pm

Haha! You know it’s good when the hubby likes it 😂 I think Snickerdoodle would be amazing with these!!!

Reply

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